Header image  
DarkFire Graphics  


TableTop Reviews with Zap!

Jeff Robicheau reviews different tabletop games, some less known then others. Consider these reviews to be an ideal way to learn some interesting little tidbits of information into some new game ideas to play with your group of DnD buddies or BESM pals. You never know, you may like some of these little known gems!

All Flesh Must Be Eaten: Halloween Special Review

Welcome all, today I have a special Halloween review for you... Picture this.

You and your friends are gaming the night away, someone has just made use of another bad pun and in the groaning and dice throwing you decide to slip out of the dungeon and into the kitchen for a drink. As you gulp down your (insert cliché gamer drink) you hear a crash from the porch. "Damn! Another drunken college kid passing out," you mutter to yourself. As you open the door to the porch you stop dead as you are hit with a strong, fetid, stench. You reel back with a disgusted cry, as the figure on the porch emits a low moan and steps into the light. This is no foul smelling and inebriated college kid; it is a foul smelling undead HORROR!

Now most people would be caught off guard and be torn apart by the ravenous zombie, or run screaming in horror... but not you. You are fully prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse, and how did you get to this level of preparedness? Was it through rigorous physical and mental training? Of course not! You are prepared because of gaming. You and your friends haven’t been playing just any game of D&D; you've been playing All Flesh Must Be Eaten, the zombie survival horror game!

That's right, playing AFMBE will prepare you for any and all forms of zombie infestation and is perfect for a Halloween on off game. So put on your costume, grab your dice and your favorite zombie killing tool, and let's take a look at this popular game that fills a niche in the horror genre.

All Flesh Must Be Eaten was developed and produced by Eden Studios and released in 1999. Using the Unisystem game system, AFMBE is an interesting game concept, it was among the first RPGs to focus on zombies as the main aspect of the game. While most RPGs have zombies in one form or another, AFMBE is all zombies all the time. The game draws a lot of its ideas and content from many sources including movies, books, comics, and traditional stories of zombies. The book reflects this with pieces of fiction, great art and classic movie quotes, topping it all off with a foreword by Shane Hensley (that's right, the writer of Dead Lands) on why zombie horror is popular in gaming and the real world too.

The book moves on to an introduction on zombies, including a brief history on zombies from cultural myths to modern film interpretations. Then on to the general info and character creation, which uses templates called archetypes. These determine the starting points for your character's stats and skill. The archetypes presented in the game are Norms (average people,) Survivors (people who have more skills and are tougher,) and Inspired (people who have access to special powers from divine sources.) You then take the points and spend them on attributes, qualities/drawbacks, and skills, Inspired characters also get to choose from metaphysics.

The next section of the book gets to the game mechanics. There are four different rule sets for playing. A card based resolution system, a diceless system, a standard dice system, and a story based system. The standard dice system uses a base target number for tasks and tests (normally 9) with the addition of a luck roll for the rule of ten, which allows added rolls if you roll a ten possibly adding successes. Or the rule of one, where if you roll a one you can roll again and subtract from your total. They also have a fear test for when you run into something really horrific, which if you fail can leave you frozen in fear at the worst possible time!

The next section covers gear. With all the different kinds of weapons for zombie killing and the array of vehicles from bikes to armed personnel carriers, you will be ready!

Next up is a chapter dedicated to custom designed zombies for your campaign. This is an awesome addition! They provide you with a basic template then allow you to give them different abilities and aspects. The different customized aspects are the weak spot - self explanatory, where the hell do I shoot them. Getting around - how it moves, does it shuffle slowly around or is it fast. Strength - are they weak, average, or inhumanely strong. Senses - are they dulled or surprisingly sharp. Sustenance - well, they got to eat... brains, flesh or souls! Intelligence - are they dull witted shamblers or can they use teamwork and tools. Spreading the love - how do they transmit the zombie disease. Special Features - cool abilities like spitting toxic fluids, body parts that move on their own, or regeneration. Using these rules you should be able to make all manners of horrid undead to throw at your players.

Next up is a series of different settings called dead worlds for the game master to use; these give you just about every kind of zombie style setting you can think of, from the regular old shamblers to the mutant radiation zombies or even aliens who possess the dead! These settings are great for one use games or inspiration for your own campaign.

There is definitely a lot of material in this book for running a zombie horror game, and it is a lot of fun to read! There is plenty ofadditional source material for the game from Wild West zombies to pirate zombies, so you can adapt to any kind of game you want. So I hope you will enjoy this gem and have a lot of fun surviving your very own personal zombie apocalypse. Remember, you don’t have to outrun the zombie, just the people you are with!


Have fun and don’t stop using your imagination,



Written By Jeff Robicheau. Edited by Tyler Clapp. All references, icons, and imagery are trademark to their appropriate owners, and author and editor take no credit for creation/ownership of these things, only the opinions stated in this article.